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Zuffa pimps Rani Yahya to K-1

I don’t think there’s a more colorful character out there than Rani Yahya. Between his butt-scoot fighting style and his tendency to start riots at grappling events, this bantamweight fighter has heavyweight drama written all over him. Of course, I was worried after he took a 5-round beating from WEC champ Chase Beebe that we might have seen the last of Rani. Fortunately this is not the case!

Rani is now going overseas to Japan to fight none other than Kid Yamamoto at K-1 Dynamite. Word from Shitdog Radio is that this was a ‘loan’ from Zuffa, which is really interesting since Zuffa isn’t exactly known for playing well with others. There’s a couple of things we could read from this sudden interaction between the two companies:

  1. This is part of a ‘trade’, where K-1 gets Rani and the UFC will be getting someone else down the line.
  2. Now that the UFC is ‘out’ of Japan, they are supporting K-1 in an effort to keep competition down.
  3. Sherdog is wrong and I am talking out my ass.

Whatever the reason, you can’t ignore the fact that this means SOMETHING. The UFC doesn’t do anything without a reason, and you better believe they wouldn’t lift a finger to help K-1 if they weren’t getting something directly or indirectly from it.

This isn’t the first time the UFC and K-1 have been in cahoots. Last year the UFC paid a boatload of money to K-1 so Royce Gracie could be sacrificed to Matt Hughes.

  • LR

    Or Rani doesn’t want to sit out for damn near 6 months because for some dumb reason the WEC takes forever to hold a card. He may have gotten an offer and asked Zuffa if he could do it. Upside is, if Yahya can win it, Zuffa has the guy who beat Yamamoto.

  • marshal

    Stir up some Rampage, racial, yesterdays news. Find the Mojo from before the accident.

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy)

    It’s entirely possible that this is part of the quid pro quo for the Gracie fight.

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy)

    Additionally, I think it’s overstating things to claim that Dana doesn’t play well with other promotions. Prior to the failure and purchase of Pride, UFC exchanged (or at least attempted to exchange, certainly they SENT fighters over, I’m not sure any ever came here) fighters with them.

    I think that the issues are more specifically related to the newer promotions that are showing up in the US that appear to be more hostile to UFC, particularly ProElite.

    UFC clearly doesn’t work with people that they’re currently suing, but that’s just standard business sense. You don’t enter into deals with guys who are going to be on the other side of the courtroom from you. Maybe after the legal dust settles with ProElite and IFL, we’ll actually see some fighter exchanges there as well, presuming that they establish a niche that isn’t directly competing against UFC.

  • Mike David (Euthyphro)

    Perhaps they send Yahya to K-1 to fight Kiddu, K-1 sends Kiddu to WEC to fight Faber?

    Extremely unlikely, as Yamamoto is a mega-star and cash cow for K-1, but who knows?

  • Michaelthebox

    I don’t think they need to get anything back from K-1. If Yahya wins or even puts up a good fight against Kid, it validates the entire UFC lower weight divisions in the eye of the hardcore fans. If he gets whipped, the UFC doesn’t lose anything at all.

  • smoogy

    It definitely isn’t (2) because the premise itself isn’t necessarily true.

    It could be (1) considering recently Hiroyuki Takaya called out Urijah Faber and asked Zuffa to make this fight happen.

    Or it could just be the Zuffa people realizing that letting him fight there isn’t going to hurt the product in any way, and considering Bibiano’s performance vs. Kid it could just pay off for them.

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy)

    smoogy, good thought.

    There’s a shortage of decent opponents for Urijah in this world, it would be a shame to waste that one.

  • Swedish guy

    chase beebe… fuck him. how about someone put some super glue on the cocks of beebe, sherk and matt hughes. then glue each cock to the palate of one of the others, thus ending up in a three-sided SUCKFEST, because that’s what they do. They suck, suck, suck.
    I guess one could call it a nice triangle choke.

  • Swedish guy

    I think my triangle choke joke above was one of the best pieces of comedy ever. I’m a bit disappointed that nobody has acknowledged it. Perhaps the fun in the thought of chase beebe, matt hughes and sean sherk choking on each others cocks in a triangular suckfest got a bit lost in translation.

  • fightlinker

    i dunno … you lost me when you said ‘super glue’ and ‘cocks’ :-p But A for effort!